The European Union continues to regard Israel´s presence in the
Jewish people´s ancestral homeland as "occupation."
Arutz Sheva asked EU ambassador to Israel Andrew Standley about
Europe´s position on the recent expulsion of 15 Jewish families from
Beit Hamachpela in Hevron.
"They [Judea and Samaria] are indeed occupied territory under
international law, where Israel is the occupying power," Standley
"So it´s not a question of whether the person is Jewish, it´s the
question of, these are Israeli nationals, of the citizenship of the
"Under international humanitarian law, the Geneva Conventions, the
occupying power has certain obligations and certain prohibitions,
including having its population settle the occupied territory.
"And this is why, under international law, including the
interpretation of the European Union, it has,... there should not be
settlement by Israel or by Israelis in the occupied territory,"
While many nations and international bodies, including the United
Nations, regard Judea and Samaria as ´occupied territories´ the
matter has never been adjudicated by an empowered international court.
Israel maintains Judea and Samaria are ´disputed territories´ under
international law, which does not prohibit it from developing and
settling its ancestral homeland.
Originally, all of Judea and Samaria were slated for the future
Jewish state under the British Mandate, which had inherited the
region from the Ottoman Empire at the close of World War I.
However, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan that invaded and occupied
the territory when Israel declared its independence in 1948.
Israel actually liberated Judea and Samaria from Jordanian
occupation during the 1967 Six Day War.
Arutz Sheva also asked Standley about the death sentence handed down
by the Palestinian Authority for Muhammad Abu Saleh, the Arab who
brokered the sale of Beit Hamachpela to the Jewish families.
"With regard to death sentence, in general, as I explained before,
the European Union has a general position of being opposed to the
imposition of the death penalty in any case, in any situation in the
world," Standley said.
"So that´s a basic, universal position that the European Union has.
With regard to discrimination on the basis of religion, which may be
the question I think you answered [sic], also this is something that
would be of concern to the European Union," Standley said.
"We do not think that there should be any instances where people are
discriminated against on the basis of their religion," he added.
During the interview, Standley did not acknowledge that Judaism is
the religion of the Jewish people who have now returned to their